BEATIFICATION PROCESS FOR FIRST ILOCANO BISHOP ON

A cause for beatification and canonization has been opened for the first Ilocano bishop, Alfredo Florentin Verzosa (1877-1954). The process of documenting Verzosa’s life and virtues was initiated at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Paul in Vigan, Ilocos Sur on Jan. 11, 2013 and will close in 2015. The records will then be brought to Rome for the next phase of the process, the Missionary Catechists of the Sacred Heart of Lipa, Batangas said in a statement. As a young priest assigned to Nueva Segovia, Verzosa worked hard to protect, revive and strengthen Catholicism in Ilocos Norte at a time when there was a dearth of priests due to the shift of most of the local clergy to the new church established by Gregorio Aglipay. Regarded as one of the most trusted priests of his time, Verzosa was appointed as a consultor in the Synod of Nueva Segovia and worked as secretary of the bishops during their pastoral visits. In 1916, Pope Benedict XV named Verzosa, then 39, the second bishop of Lipa, the first Ilocano and the fourth Filipino to be elevated to the bishopric. To celebrate his life, a musical play titled “Ang Pasyon ni Obispo Alfredo Verzosa ng Nueva Segovia at Lipa” was written by Palanca awardee Franck Rivera. Produced by the Bishop Alfredo Florentin Verzosa Foundation Inc. and directed by Joey Nombres, the gala will be held on July 6 at SM Aura in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, with members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: Cebu village folk convert trash into cash

CEBU CITY, Philippines—From old magazines and newspapers into fashion accessories, baskets and even rosary beads. Purita Doba has indeed mastered the art of converting neighborhood waste into useful items since 2002 when the 60-year-old woman joined the “Kwarta sa Basura” program in Barangay (village) Luz in Cebu City. Doba is also one of the trainers in the village livelihood program, which has so far helped over 100 unemployed residents. “If you work hard, you can buy rice for your family,” she said. Doba receives P60 to P150 for each item she produces from trash. She also gets P4,000 a month in honorarium for working as an administrative staff member and one of five livelihood program trainers.
Business area-- Luz is a densely populated village near Cebu Business Park and Cebu IT Park. Because of the presence of several big businesses in its territory, it is one of the richest villages with a yearly income of P15 million.
In 2002, village officials started implementing a recycling program called “Kwarta sa Basura” in compliance with Republic Act No. 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act. They aimed to reduce by at least 25 percent the volume of garbage being brought to a sanitary landfill in the city’s Barangay Inayawan, while providing livelihood opportunities, especially to unemployed mothers. READ MORE...

ALSO: CLASSIC FILIPINO DESSERT, ‘FLAN’ BARS IN THE MAKING A HIT IN SOCIAL MEDIA

A couple who was just trying to “make ends meet” used their creativity and took advantage of social media marketing in selling a classic Filipino dessert, making it an instant hit. Irwin and Jasmin Pundamiera are the couple behind Swannies Dessert Jars. They sell the classic leche flan (custard) in five different flavors and packaged them in easy-to-carry mini jars. Irwin said in an e-mail interview that the business started four months ago, after the birth of their first child. ‘We were trying to find ways to make ends meet, and it seems like we were working and waiting for every 15th and 30th of the month, just to end up broke,” Irwin said, as he was then working as a sales officer, while his wife worked in a call center. Irwin said that he and his wife thought of other sources of income, so they decided to sell leche flan, using Irwin’s mom’s recipe. “For the longest time, my mom has been selling her leche flan in oval aluminum containers to friends and relatives, and making them during family gatherings. I used to help her when I was younger,” Irwin said. “My wife and I love my mom’s leche flan, and while enjoying the dessert, we started discussing ideas, of what (flavors and toppings) would go great with her flans,” he added. Irwin said that he and Jasmin experimented with different toppings, and thought that it would be presentable and creative to sell the classic dessert in mini jars. The couple came up with five flavors: Caramel Almond, Strawberry Kiwi, Mango Cashew, Banana Lemon Oreo, and Chili Choco Cherry. READ MORE...

ALSO: MANIPULATION EYED AS CAUSING PRICE INCREASES

THE Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food is looking at price manipulation as one of the possible causes in the increase of prices such as in the case of garlic ranged from P180 per kilo (locally produced) to P300 per kilo (imported). “Mag hearing kami next week kasi nakikita namin mali ang timing ng mga importation. Supposed to be, there would be no importation para hindi masyadong mababa ang pagbebenta ng mga magsasaka sa kanilang produkto at ng kumita naman sila,” panel chairwoman Cynthia Villar said. She said during the last harvest, many farmers went bankrupt as traders imported large volumes of onion, prompting local tillers to sell their produce at lower prices – some as much as P70 per kilo. “I blame this on the traders kaya nagkakaroon ng manipulation sa pricing,” Villar said. “Nakakausap ko naman ang mga onion and garlic farmers. Kaya naman nilang mag-produce, pero ang nangyayari na-mamali ang timing kung kailan sila maraming produkto, binabarat naman sila tapos pinapakyaw ng lahat ng traders,” she said. “Tapos ngayon naman kinokontrol nila (traders) upang tumaas ang presyo. Nagtataka naman ako kung bakit tumaas kasi kung timing naman ang dating ng importation, hindi dapat tumataas ang presyo,” she added. Just like in garlic, Villar blamed traders for price manipulation of rice noting there is enough supply since the government through the National Food Authority (NFA) has imported about 800,000 metric tons (MT) to augment the shortage in the market due to planting season. The government imported about 500,000MT of rice in December-January in order to supply the Yolanda-stricken areas, and about 800,000MT in March which is enough to supply the market because shortage is about five percent of the total rice production, the senator said. “I think traders are hoarding the supply but we will see what they will report once we call them for the hearings,” she said. THIS IS

ALSO: DID AQUINO JUDICIALLY USE HIS POWER ON NATIONAL ARTIST CHOICE?

President Aquino and his minions should not wave the legal banner about the Chief Executive’s power not to uphold the recommendation of the National Commission on Culture and Arts and the Cultural Center in conferring the National Artist awards to Filipino individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts. The issue is: did he use that power judiciously in deleting the name of movie actress Nora Aunor from the list submitted by the NCCA and CCP for the National Artist awards? Press Secretary Herminio Coloma cited the 2013 ruling of the Supreme Court on a 2009 National Artist controversy (former NCCA Chair Cecile G. Alvarez inserted her name to the list submitted jointly by NCCA and CCP to Malacañang which Gloria Arroyo upheld) which, he said, states that the President does not have to justify his decision. Coloma should be reminded that Aquino is not a King who reigns without accountability to the people. The press secretary should also be reminded that Aquino won on the platform of transparency. He has time and again told the people, “Kayo ang Boss ko.” He now feels superior over his “Boss” that he does nto have to explain his action? The six new National Artists, who are chosen every three years, are Alice Reyes (dance), Francisco Coching (visual arts, posthumous); Cirilo Bautista (literature); Francisco Feliciano (music); Ramon Santos music); and Jose Maria Zaragoza (architecture, design and allied arts, posthumous). READ MORE...


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Beatification process for first Ilocano bishop on


Bishop Alfredo Versoza

MANILA
, JUNE 23, 2014 (PHILSTAR)
A cause for beatification and canonization has been opened for the first Ilocano bishop, Alfredo Florentin Verzosa (1877-1954).

The process of documenting Verzosa’s life and virtues was initiated at the Metropolitan Cathedral of St. Paul in Vigan, Ilocos Sur on Jan. 11, 2013 and will close in 2015.

The records will then be brought to Rome for the next phase of the process, the Missionary Catechists of the Sacred Heart of Lipa, Batangas said in a statement.

As a young priest assigned to Nueva Segovia, Verzosa worked hard to protect, revive and strengthen Catholicism in Ilocos Norte at a time when there was a dearth of priests due to the shift of most of the local clergy to the new church established by Gregorio Aglipay.

Regarded as one of the most trusted priests of his time, Verzosa was appointed as a consultor in the Synod of Nueva Segovia and worked as secretary of the bishops during their pastoral visits.

In 1916, Pope Benedict XV named Verzosa, then 39, the second bishop of Lipa, the first Ilocano and the fourth Filipino to be elevated to the bishopric.

To celebrate his life, a musical play titled “Ang Pasyon ni Obispo Alfredo Verzosa ng Nueva Segovia at Lipa” was written by Palanca awardee Franck Rivera.

Produced by the Bishop Alfredo Florentin Verzosa Foundation Inc. and directed by Joey Nombres, the gala will be held on July 6 at SM Aura in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig, with members of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines

FROM THE INQUIRER

Cebu village folk convert trash into cash By Doris C. Bongcac
Inquirer Visayas 12:11 am | Monday, June 23rd, 2014
 


BAGS made from woven tetra packs by the women of Barangay Luz are sold at P150 to P200 each. Doris C. Bongcac/CDN

CEBU CITY, Philippines—From old magazines and newspapers into fashion accessories, baskets and even rosary beads.

Purita Doba has indeed mastered the art of converting neighborhood waste into useful items since 2002 when the 60-year-old woman joined the “Kwarta sa Basura” program in Barangay (village) Luz in Cebu City.

Doba is also one of the trainers in the village livelihood program, which has so far helped over 100 unemployed residents. “If you work hard, you can buy rice for your family,” she said.

Doba receives P60 to P150 for each item she produces from trash. She also gets P4,000 a month in honorarium for working as an administrative staff member and one of five livelihood program trainers.

Business area

Luz is a densely populated village near Cebu Business Park and Cebu IT Park. Because of the presence of several big businesses in its territory, it is one of the richest villages with a yearly income of P15 million.

In 2002, village officials started implementing a recycling program called “Kwarta sa Basura” in compliance with Republic Act No. 9003 or the Solid Waste Management Act. They aimed to reduce by at least 25 percent the volume of garbage being brought to a sanitary landfill in the city’s Barangay Inayawan, while providing livelihood opportunities, especially to unemployed mothers.

During the program’s first two years, the participants were told to bring their recyclable materials to the barangay hall grounds on Saturdays so these could be sold to a junk shop, said a village councilor, Ronilio Sab-a, who heads the local solid waste, environment and social services committee.

Earnings in bank

Proceeds from the sales were deposited to their bank accounts, which village officials opened for them. The money may be withdrawn only after six months, Sab-a said.

In 2004, mothers were organized and taught how to make bags, hats, and wine and pen holders from Tetra Pak cartons and packing tape, and rosaries, necklaces and bracelets from small paper strips dipped in acrylic emulsion.

For its solid waste program, Luz won a Galing Pook Award in 2009, a private initiative to promote innovation and excellence in local governance, to recognize best local government practices, and to facilitate their adoption in communities.

Even children and the elderly in the village have been tapped to help produce paper strips and other materials, especially when bulk orders are made. Each gets P150 for every 1,000 strips they make.

Starting this year, Sab-a said unemployed fathers would be trained to produce lampshades from old electric fans.

Since they can bring home the raw materials, the mother-beneficiaries have time to attend to their children.

Hotel display

Samples of their products are on display at the lobby of Cebu City Marriott Hotel inside Cebu Business Park and on the second floor of the barangay hall on Archbishop Reyes Avenue.


PURITA Doba, 60, demonstrates how a woven bag is made. Doris C. Bongcac/CDN

Sab-a said arrangements were being made with the management of Ayala Center Cebu for the women to put up a booth inside the mall.

Last month, three Germans and their two Filipino guides visited the display area of the barangay hall. The foreigners were looking for suppliers of items made from recycled materials for a souvenir shop they would open at Mactan Cebu International Airport in Lapu-Lapu City, Doba said.

Bulk orders

“We are happy every time we have bulk orders because that will mean additional income for us,” she said. “We keep on experimenting with the designs that will be used for our new products.”

Walk-in clients would also drop by the barangay hall to order bags for convention souvenir items. Some foreigners buy bags and hats.

The products cost between P50 and P200 each. The barangay gets P20 to P50 to recover the cost of materials, like glue and acrylic emulsion, while the remainder goes to the residents.

Doba, a mother of eight, said the livelihood program took care of her family’s needs after her husband, a carpenter, lost his overseas job in 2012.

Now, she is passing on her expertise to her children so they, too, can benefit from it.

FROM MALAYA

CLASSIC FILIPINO DESSERT, ‘FLAN’ BARS IN THE MAKING A HIT IN SOCIAL MEDIABy ANGELA CELIS | June 23, 2014

A couple who was just trying to “make ends meet” used their creativity and took advantage of social media marketing in selling a classic Filipino dessert, making it an instant hit.

Irwin and Jasmin Pundamiera are the couple behind Swannies Dessert Jars. They sell the classic leche flan (custard) in five different flavors and packaged them in easy-to-carry mini jars.

Irwin said in an e-mail interview that the business started four months ago, after the birth of their first child.

‘We were trying to find ways to make ends meet, and it seems like we were working and waiting for every 15th and 30th of the month, just to end up broke,” Irwin said, as he was then working as a sales officer, while his wife worked in a call center.

Irwin said that he and his wife thought of other sources of income, so they decided to sell leche flan, using Irwin’s mom’s recipe.

“For the longest time, my mom has been selling her leche flan in oval aluminum containers to friends and relatives, and making them during family gatherings. I used to help her when I was younger,” Irwin said.

“My wife and I love my mom’s leche flan, and while enjoying the dessert, we started discussing ideas, of what (flavors and toppings) would go great with her flans,” he added.

Irwin said that he and Jasmin experimented with different toppings, and thought that it would be presentable and creative to sell the classic dessert in mini jars.

The couple came up with five flavors: Caramel Almond, Strawberry Kiwi, Mango Cashew, Banana Lemon Oreo, and Chili Choco Cherry.

Irwin said that after seeing a lot of cakes in jars in the market, they decided to do the same, but with a different product in mind.

“Most Filipinos love leche flan, and that gave us the idea that there would be a market for our product,” Irwin said.

The couple invested P2,500 to start their business. Jasmin is in charge of the production while Irwin is focused on marketing and sales.

The couple sells the dessert at P140 per jar. Irwin said that the best seller is the Banana Lemon Oreo flavor, while the Strawberry Kiwi and Mango Cashew also caught the attention of most of their clients.

While the couple sells Swannies online, they already have several resellers from Isabella, Pampanga, Cavite, Ilagan, Cabatuan, Cagayan, and Tuguegarao.

“A steady export is yet to happen as the cost of the shipping would be three times more than the price of the product. But we have already shipped orders to as far as Canada, Singapore, the US, and Taiwan,” he said.

Irwin said that with the success of Swannies, clients can expect three more new flavors which will be launched sometime soon.

“We thought that it would just help us pay the bills. (But due to the increase in orders), we resigned from our jobs and went full-time on our business,” he said.

Irwin said that during the first month, they sold 120 jars. It was thrice that figure in the following month. Now, the couple produces 50 jars of flavored leche flans daily in order to keep up with the increasing demand.

“Our strategy was to have our friends try the product, and post and share about it in social media. We’re confident that the product is good, we just needed to make it more visible,” he said.

Irwin said that they also offer Swannies as party favors, although most of their daily orders come from “yuppies” or young professionals.

“We are also conceptualizing a ‘flan bar,’ or a kiosk fit for mall standards. The flan bar will allow consumers to choose a flan base and go crazy on the toppings,” Irwin said.

As of press time, Swannies has more than 5,600 followers in its Instagram account.

MANIPULATION EYED AS CAUSING PRICE INCREASES By JP LOPEZ | June 23, 2014

THE Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food is looking at price manipulation as one of the possible causes in the increase of prices such as in the case of garlic ranged from P180 per kilo (locally produced) to P300 per kilo (imported).

“Mag hearing kami next week kasi nakikita namin mali ang timing ng mga importation. Supposed to be, there would be no importation para hindi masyadong mababa ang pagbebenta ng mga magsasaka sa kanilang produkto at ng kumita naman sila,” panel chairwoman Cynthia Villar said.

She said during the last harvest, many farmers went bankrupt as traders imported large volumes of onion, prompting local tillers to sell their produce at lower prices – some as much as P70 per kilo.

“I blame this on the traders kaya nagkakaroon ng manipulation sa pricing,” Villar said.

“Nakakausap ko naman ang mga onion and garlic farmers. Kaya naman nilang mag-produce, pero ang nangyayari na-mamali ang timing kung kailan sila maraming produkto, binabarat naman sila tapos pinapakyaw ng lahat ng traders,” she said.

“Tapos ngayon naman kinokontrol nila (traders) upang tumaas ang presyo. Nagtataka naman ako kung bakit tumaas kasi kung timing naman ang dating ng importation, hindi dapat tumataas ang presyo,” she added.

Just like in garlic, Villar blamed traders for price manipulation of rice noting there is enough supply since the government through the National Food Authority (NFA) has imported about 800,000 metric tons (MT) to augment the shortage in the market due to planting season.

The government imported about 500,000MT of rice in December-January in order to supply the Yolanda-stricken areas, and about 800,000MT in March which is enough to supply the market because shortage is about five percent of the total rice production, the senator said.

“I think traders are hoarding the supply but we will see what they will report once we call them for the hearings,” she said.

DID AQUINO JUDICIALLY USE HIS POWER ON NATIONAL ARTIST CHOICE? By Ellen Tordesillas | June 23, 2014

President Aquino and his minions should not wave the legal banner about the Chief Executive’s power not to uphold the recommendation of the National Commission on Culture and Arts and the Cultural Center in conferring the National Artist awards to Filipino individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts.

The issue is: did he use that power judiciously in deleting the name of movie actress Nora Aunor from the list submitted by the NCCA and CCP for the National Artist awards?

Press Secretary Herminio Coloma cited the 2013 ruling of the Supreme Court on a 2009 National Artist controversy (former NCCA Chair Cecile G. Alvarez inserted her name to the list submitted jointly by NCCA and CCP to Malacañang which Gloria Arroyo upheld) which, he said, states that the President does not have to justify his decision.

Coloma should be reminded that Aquino is not a King who reigns without accountability to the people.

The press secretary should also be reminded that Aquino won on the platform of transparency. He has time and again told the people, “Kayo ang Boss ko.” He now feels superior over his “Boss” that he does nto have to explain his action?

The six new National Artists, who are chosen every three years, are Alice Reyes (dance), Francisco Coching (visual arts, posthumous); Cirilo Bautista (literature); Francisco Feliciano (music); Ramon Santos music); and Jose Maria Zaragoza (architecture, design and allied arts, posthumous).

NCCA Chair Felipe de Leon, Jr. is apparently not privy to Malacañang’s reason for excluding Aunor. “While we still need to determine the bases for Ms. Aunor’s exclusion, the commission is prepared to review the processes of proclamation and formulate policies to strengthen procedure and to ensure that the determination of who finally gets the title of National Artist is free from political influences and elements unrelated to artistic accomplishments,” he said.

Aunor, morena and small in size, broke the mestiza tradition for a movie star with her singing and acting prowess. She has given the Filipino people and the country memorable films such as the much-awarded “Himala”, “Bona”, “Flor Contemplacion Story”, “Thy Womb.”

Unconfirmed information said Malacañang was wary of proclaiming Nora Aunor National Artist, the highest national recognition given to a Filipino artist for his or her contribution to the cultural heritage of the country, because of her “morality” and previous involvement in a drug case in the United States.

The drug case was dismissed by a Los Angeles court in 2007. As to “morality”, it is not in the criteria for the selection of a National Artist.

The guidelines say “The Order of National Artists shall be given to artists who have met the following criteria:

“Living artists who are natural-born Filipino citizens at the time of nomination, as well as those who died after the establishment of the award in 1972 but were Filipino citizens at the time of their death. Filipinos who have lost and re-acquired Filipino citizenship, through dual citizenship status for at least the minimum period of five years shall be eligible for nomination.

“Artists who through the content and form of their works have contributed in building a Filipino sense of nationhood.

“Artists who have pioneered in a mode of creative expression or style, thus, earning distinction and making an impact on succeeding generations of artists.

“ Artists who have created a substantial and significant body of works and/or consistently displayed excellence in the practice of their art form thus enriching artistic expression or style.

“Artists who enjoy broad acceptance through: prestigious national and/or international recognition, such as the Gawad CCP Para sa Sining, CCP Thirteen Artists Award and NCCA Alab ng Haraya; critical acclaim and/or reviews of their works; respect and esteem from peers. “

Colleagues of Aunor are aghast and furious by the Malacañang snub. Filmmaker Joel Lamangan, who directed Aunor in “The Flor Contemplacion Story,” said “Morality is not part of the criteria, it’s the body of works that matters. Not whom an artist sleeps with. Not what he or she smokes or drinks. What should be considered is the uniqueness and excellence of an artist’s works.”

Movie Director Jose Javier Reyes captured the sentiments of many with his comment: “I thought we were choosing a National Artist, not a saint.”


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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